Believe it or not, fall is officially here, so in addition to ushering in a bit cooler weather, we can also warm our hearts, minds and spirits through a wide array of exciting exhibits, events and more throughout the month. Take a gander at these October (and some beyond) offerings!


Motown the Musical (Multiple Cities)

One year has passed since the mega theater hit “Motown the Musical,” “the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more,” went on the road. A bevy of dates have been added through July 2016 before the play returns to Broadway in the summer of 2016. Additionally, original Broadway cast member Julius Thomas III will be returning to the national tour for a limited engagement in the role of Berry Gordy. The upcoming tour dates are:

Toronto Now through Nov. 1

Providence, R.I. Nov. 3-8

Rochester, N.Y. Nov. 10-15

Schenectady, N.Y. Nov. 17-22

Greenville, S.C. Nov. 24-29

Washington, D.C. Dec. 1, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016


“African-American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond”

Fans of African-American art are invited to enjoy over 75 online images and narratives from a larger selection of paintings, sculpture, prints and photographs by 43 Black artists that was presented a few years ago in an exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. According to the museum, which assembled these works of art from their own African-American collection, “[These] Black artists … explored the African-American experience from the Harlem Renaissance through the Civil Rights era and the decades beyond, which saw tremendous social and political changes. In response, these artists created an image of America that recognizes individuals and community and acknowledges the role of art in celebrating the multivalent nature of American society. The artworks in the exhibition lay out a vision of America from an African-American viewpoint.”


Oct. 10

World Beer Festival (Durham, N.C.)

Hosted by All About Beer magazine, the World Beer Festival—named one of the premier beer events in the country—is a celebration of the positive attributes of the growing beer culture. Activities include craft, specialty and import beer samples from local, regional, national and global breweries, a variety of seminars and exhibits from nationally recognized beer authors and other activities. This traveling festival, which makes four stops each year, will have its next event Jan. 23, 2016, in Columbia, S.C.

Oct. 8-11

National Shrimp Festival (Gulf Shores, Ala.)

Where else but the scenic shores of Gulf Shores, Ala., would they host the 44th annual National Shrimp Festival? Presented by Zatarain’s, this free annual festival draws some 250,000 shrimp and seafood lovers from throughout the South and further afield to enjoy over 300 arts, crafts and retail vendors, a Children’s Activity Village, an outdoor village, musical entertainment and, of course, fantastic food. 251-968-6091,

Oct. 17

Taste of Soul Festival (Los Angeles)

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the annual Taste of Soul Festival is regarded as the biggest family festival in the city. This free event promises a bevy of great musical entertainment suitable for the entire family, plus celebrity appearances, fun-filled events, food booths and arts and craft and other vendors. 323-299-3800,

Oct. 16-18

Silicon Valley African-Film Festival (Mountain View, Calif.)

Set in the spectacular Silicon Valley area of California, the sixth annual Silicon Valley African-Film Festival is designed to provide audiences with “a lens to the real Africa.” Activities includes a dazzling opening ceremony encompassing a Parade of Flags, libation ceremony, live performances, filmmaker presentations and 35 films from 15 countries that provide and promote an understanding and appreciation of Africa and Africans through moving images. 415-774-6787,

Oct. 22-24, 2015

National Black Book Festival (Houston, Texas)

Held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the National Black Book Festival is the place to enjoy dozens of authors with thousands of reading enthusiasts, all under one roof. Hosted by, the world’s largest African-American retailer online, this year’s event will include appearances by numerous genres of authors covering everything from Urban Fiction to Christian, self-help, Mystery/Thrillers, Non-Fiction, Romance, Poetry, Beauty and Health, Biographies and everything in between. Publishers, book clubs, libraries, workshops, seminars, a spoken word poetry slam, book signs and more are also part of the fun. 800-340-5454,

Oct. 30-Nov. 1

World Creole Music Festival (Dominica, the Caribbean)

Celebrating its 18th anniversary this year, the World Creole Music Festival is billed as one of the island’s top events. Visitors from all around the world flock here each year to enjoy three nights of pulsating rhythms from an impressive lineup of Creole musical acts from all over the Caribbean islands. Featured headliners this year include Lady Saw, Kreyol La, Devine Songz, Popcaan and the Triple Kay Band, among numerous others. Great food and outdoor recreation on this beautiful island is also part of the celebration. 767-448-4833,

Lysa Allman Baldwin is a freelance writer and the publisher and editor of Amazing Escapades, featuring “adventures for the mind, bod and belly” (